ALSO NOTED: UCLA lab furthers ESC research; Researchers create liver cells from stem cells;

Stem Cell Research

A lab in UCLA has become the first in California to create skin cells that are indistinguishable from ESCs. "Our findings are an important step toward manipulating differentiated human cells to generate an unlimited supply of patient specific pluripotent stem cells. We are very excited about the potential implications." Report

Researchers in Scotland have created liver cells from ESCs which contain enzymes that make them useful for screening new therapies for side effects. Report

Researchers in Germany have used adult stem cells in hair to grow new skin for eventual use in reconstructive surgery. Report

The Indian state of Hyderabad is establishing new stem cell and biomedical research centers. Report

Cancer Research

An anti-tumor protein could be instrumental in fighting melanomas. Michael Green, of the University of Massachusetts medical school, found that a protein called IGFBP7 seems to help melanocytes decide what to become, inducing them to enter a programmed hibernation or kill themselves at the first signs of becoming cancerous. The results are published in the latest edition of the journal Cell. Report

Scientists in London have discovered a new genetic mechanism which helps cancer cells survive by changing the way they respond to treatment. To uncover how cancer cells become resistant to treatment by PARP inhibitors or carboplatin, scientists took tumor cells which contained faulty BRCA2 genes and then made them resistant to both of these treatments. Release

Dr. Matthias Tacke and his research team at the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology and the School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at University College Dublin have recently published preclinical results on the anti-tumor activity of Titanocene Y on human breast tumors and in a mouse model. Release


UK scientists have discovered seven new genetic markers linked to prostate cancer--a development that should hasten the development of new therapies and screening tests. Article

The state of Florida has provided an $80 million grant to scientists at the University of Miami's Institute of Human Genomics. Report

A bacterium that harvests far-red light by making a rare form of chlorophyll has revealed its genetic secrets, according to a team of researchers who recently sequenced the bacteria's genome. Release

Cornell University molecular biologists have discovered how a protein called PARP-1 binds to genes and regulates their expression across the human genome. Knowing where PARP-1 is located and how it works may allow scientists to target this protein while battling common human diseases. Release

A gene called HLA-DRB1 that's associated with an increased risk of developing inflammatory arthritis may also increase the chances of premature death from cardiovascular disease, a British study finds. Release

Uppsala University scientists have developed a method which can show what genes are regulated by the gene USF1, which is known to cause familial combined hyperlipidemia. Release

More Research

Researchers in the UK are calling for a delay in rolling out new standards for evaluating academic research. Some say it places too great an emphasis on how often a study is cited by other publications. The system will influence who gets research grants. Article

Two teams of University of Michigan researchers have tracked down the cells responsible for neurofibromatosis type 1, a disfiguring, incurable condition and one of the most common hereditary disorders. Release

Animal rights groups have accused researchers at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research of dissecting a living baboon. The foundation says the baboon was deeply drugged and experienced no pain. Report

People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study. The research, published today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, may also indicate how the mood stabilizers used to treat the disorder counteract the changes in the brain that it appears to cause. Release